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Small business rate relief

From 1 April 2017  business rate relief is 100% for properties up to and including £12,000 rateable value, with tapered relief of between 100% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £12,001 and £15,000.

For those ratepayers who have lost their entitlement to small business rate relief due to the revaluation, the government have introduced a scheme to limit the increases in charges to £600 for the 2017/18 financial year.


Apply for small business rate relief

How does the scheme work?

As with the 2010 scheme, from 1 April 2017, two non-domestic rate multipliers are set by central government – the normal multiplier and a lower, small-business multiplier. The amount of relief granted will be dependent on the rateable value of the eligible property that you occupy and will be calculated as follows:

If you occupy an eligible property with a rateable value of £12000 or less, you are entitled to 100% small business rate relief.

If you occupy an eligible property with a rateable value of more than £12,000 and not more than £15,000, your bill will be calculated using the lower small-business multiplier. In addition, you will qualify for further relief depending on the actual rateable value of your property. You will receive 100% reduction, less approximately 1% for every £30 that the rateable value exceeds £12,000 on a sliding scale up to £15,000.

Small business rate reductions
Rateable value Reduction
Under £12,000 100%
Under £12,600 80%
Under £13,200 60%
Under £13,800 40%
Under £14,400 20%
Over £15,000 0%

If you occupy an eligible property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000 your bill will be calculated using the lower small-business multiplier only. You will not receive any further relief.


Which properties are eligible?

An eligible property is a property where you are in occupation of:

  • A property with a rateable value less than £51,000
  • Only one non-domestic property in England or, one main non-domestic property and other additional non-domestic properties in England, providing that the additional properties have individual rateable values of less than £2,900 and the combined rateable values of all the properties is less than £20,000.

In the second case the relief will be applied to the main property only, but the charge on the additional properties will be based on the lower rating multiplier. From 14 February 2014, the Government has confirmed that if an additional property is taken on which would normally have meant the loss of Small Business Rate Relief they will be able to keep the relief on the original property for 12 months only.

Your rateable value can be found on your business rate bill, or on the GOV.UK business rates site.


Interaction with other reliefs

If you are entitled to 80% mandatory relief as a charitable body and small-business rate relief, you will receive 80% mandatory relief only.

If you are entitled to 50% mandatory rural relief and small-business rate relief, you will receive 50% mandatory rural relief only.

If you are in receipt of Discretionary Rate Relief, which includes Retail Relief, you may still qualify.


Changes in circumstances

From 1 October 2006 ratepayers are obliged to notify the authority awarding small business rate relief of the following:

  • Increases in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer that is not in the area of the billing authority granting small business rate relief. This must be notified in writing within 4 weeks of the increase.
  • Occupation of a property not mentioned when originally applying for relief.

If a ratepayer does not notify the billing authority of the above within the 4 week period, they will lose relief from the date of the change/occupation until the date they do notify the authority.

The cost of this relief is paid for by other ratepayers and it is a criminal offence for a ratepayer to provide false information when making an application for small business rate relief.


What do you need to do?

If you think that you meet the criteria, but have not submitted a claim for small business rate relief, you should contact your local authority to see if you are entitled to support.

In order to qualify for Small Business Rate Relief on your rates prior to 1 April 2017 you must have submitted an application before 30 September 2017.

For further information see the GOV.UK business rates relief website.

Last updated: 17 November 2017